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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  July 10, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

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the disney gang, pirated cartoon characters dancing for the dictator. too bad north korea can't become the happiest place on earth. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. in our daily fix, president obama and mitt romney are taking their fight over the bush tax cuts and outsourcing to the swing states. romney is wrapping up a town hall in grand junction, colorado. you can see these live pictures. this hour the president is about to speak in cedar rapids, iowa. we will bring that to you as well. chris cillizza is an msnbc contributor and managing editor of postpolitics.com. this outsourcing story, chris, we should also point out not to outsource, but insources the author of the gospel according to the fix, now in book stores as of today. congratulations on your pub date. >> thank you. >> let's talk about this whole outsourcing controversy because mitt romney is just trying to take it to the president, saying that he is not the commander in chief but the outsourcer in chief. this is after a "washington post" story which took the president on and said that it is
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the president also has to explain his record to democrats, particularly on the left who say he has not fulfilled his campaign promise to stop the flow of jobs to low wage countries. >> you know, mitt romney, i just heard the line, the outsourcer in chief is in the white house, i'm not him. so we are now in a full-blown kind of message war over who outsourced or offshored or pick your phrase better. look, outsourcing is always a dangerous political topic, because of the idea of jobs leaving this country and heading out of the country. it's even more politically fraught when you are in an economy like this one where unemployment remains above 8%, job growth is stagnant. mitt romney is not going to i think win in any traditional sense this issue. i think what he is hoping to do is play it to a draw. that he is not cast in the minds of independent voters as someone who basically at bain capital backed all of these companies
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that shipped jobs overseas and he made a bunch of money from it. what he needs to do is fight it if not to a draw, to a muddle so that people say okay, i'm not totally sure how that worked out but i know i'm not happy with the state of the economy and i'm going to vote against barack obama. i think that's what we're seeing here, this push-back not aimed at winning, aimed at neutralizing. >> here's a little bit of what he had to say a few moments ago in grand junction, colorado. >> this week, the president added insult to injury with another kick in the gut by announcing that he has a plan, he said to lower taxes. for job creators and small businesses, he announced a massive tax increase. so at the very time the american people are seeing fewer jobs created than we need, the president announces he's going to make it harder for jobs to be created. >> of course, the fact checkers say that in fact, only 3% of the
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small business owners would fall into that category of the middle class tax cut, that in fact, the president's numbers are correct. >> you know, andrea, we talked about this yesterday when the president formally laid out his proposal. look, this is a classic, i will say it again, one man's tax cut is another man's tax increase. the republicans believe very strongly that they can win politically on this issue because the idea of raising taxes at this point in time is simply something that the american public does not want. again, i don't know the right answer. president obama clearly thinks he can win because this is about middle tax -- maintaining middle class tax cuts and letting tax cuts on the wealthiest few percent expire. he thinks that works in his values, and his message to the middle class. so this is why we have elections. i would say this is why we have two different political parties in this country. we'll find out who strategically and politically knows better what the american people want
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and expect from their government on november 6th. >> very briefly, according to the "washington post" numbers today, it is a dead even heat. it's 47-47. doesn't get any closer than that. >> very quickly, you know what's striking about it, go back and look a year ago at the head-to-head of mitt romney and barack obama. it's basically in the same place, within the margin of error. might not be 47-47 but statistically speaking, it's been tied for a year. nothing really moves this race. that's what's amazing. we have seen extenuating circumstances and us evaluating on a daily basis what might happen here. nothing is changing the numbers. we are i think going to be 47-47 for a long time here. >> don't tell me we didn't have to go through all those 20 debates. talk to you later, chris. thank you. for more on the tax cut debate and outsourcing, and a lot of other issues, i'm joined by former new hampshire governor, former chief of staff, john sununu. governor, great to see you again. >> nice to talk to you, andrea. how have you been?
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>> i've been very well, thank you. here we are, 47-47. it doesn't look as though either of them are moving the needle. mitt romney today, you just saw in colorado, one of the important battleground states, making the point that president obama has an outsourcing problem. >> yeah. he does. and the outsourcing issue really causes two problems for president obama. one, it underscores his dishonesty. the ad they were running which all the independent fact-checking groups have said is dishonest ends with president obama saying i'm president obama and i approved this message. it should say i'm president obama, i approved this dishonest message. the second problem he has with outsourcing is that there is a huge amount of outsourcing which was driven by obama policy. the money -- the $500 million they gave to fisker created jobs in finland. the solar energy grants they gave and created jobs in mexico.
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the wind turbine grants they gave created jobs in denmark. so the point that i think is really interesting is that the outsourcing issue underscores how few smarts there are in this white house and in this obama campaign that they expose themselves to the response criticism that i think unlike what mr. cillizza said is going to end up a winning issue for mitt romney. >> isn't it a winning issue for the white house fundamentally, granted that the politifact folks and the white house pointed out the president's campaign ad on that issue had a lot of questions and a lot of questionable attack lines -- >> they said it was wrong. a lot of questions is not right. it was wrong. >> but the point is that isn't mitt romney more vulnerable than the president on this issue, because there still is the whole question of private equity, of outsourcing, you could argue about when he left bain capital and whether he was still getting
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money from bain capital and what some of the companies in bain were doing, companies that did end up working overseas and sending jobs overseas, but isn't it a bigger problem for republicans than for the white house? >> no. when you send $500 million to fisker and it goes to finland immediately, when you send the solar money and it goes to mexico, when you send the turbine money and it goes to denmark and we can go on all day. there's $29 billion worth of purchases that came out of this administration outsourced jobs to foreign countries. mitt romney outsourced zero. obama outsourced -- >> zero? >> zero. he wasn't there when those issues came up. >> well, first of all, the $29 billion are not all outsourced from the administration. >> sure they are. >> a lot of those jobs still remained here. there are jobs, when you do a
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grant, governor, there are jobs here as well as overseas. >> you're struggling, andrea. you're struggling. >> well, first of all, first of all, these are competing claims and we will get back to you with all of the numbers. but -- >> let's talk about the 3% you brought up. you want to talk numbers? >> let's talk about the joint committee on taxation. >> but that 3% represents the group of small businesses that create the bulk of the jobs under small businesses. they're the larger ones. so they don't create 3% of the jobs. it means 3% of the small businesses which create the majority of the jobs. so give -- >> that's not what the joint committee on taxation says, sir. >> yes, it is. yes, it is. they create most of the jobs involved. >> that is not what glen kesler with the "washington post" or the joint committee on taxation said. they said that only 3% of the small businesses are correctly
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categorized as small businesses and are affected by this tax proposal. >> that's right. but they are the bigger ones and it's the bigger ones that create most of the jobs. >> and the other point that gets lost in all of this is that even the millionaires get a tax cut up to $250,000. >> you know, it's interesting that the president again chooses to demonstrate why he has ruined this economy. he doesn't understand why he is behind the eight ball with 8.2% unemployment. he's behind the eight ball because those people who invest in jobs that want to put money into create jobs look at this administration and are scared to death of things like this tax and like overregulation. all he's done with what he put out yesterday is convince them that if obama is elected, they're taking their investment money out of the country. >> governor, if you believe that tax cuts are good for the
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economy, why not go along with what the president suggested and support, why aren't republicans supporting a tax cut for the $250,000 people and less and come back after the election and deal with the millionaire issue? >> well, the question is why aren't the republicans -- it's not why the republicans aren't supporting that. it's why all those democratic senators are opposing president obama. senator mccaskill, tester, conrad, there's about half a dozen to a dozen democrats in the senate who will oppose this foolishness from the president. there's about five handfuls of democratic representatives in the house who will oppose this foolishness -- >> you're talking about -- you are talking clearly about tester, mccaskill, ben nelson, bill nelson, rather, in florida, talking about senators in close races who are clearly not going to support what the president is doing here. >> well, he's doing it to his democratic party, what he did when he sent up a budget and
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lost in the house by 414-0 and in the senate, 98-0. all he cares about is himself. he doesn't care about the people that support him politically and frankly, i think this is just a repetition of a desperate act by a president who wants to create class warfare. it's why he's going to lose. >> to be continued. always a pleasure to see you, governor. >> thank you, andrea. best to you. back where it all began. the president is in iowa this hour selling his plan on taxes. stephanie cutter, president obama's deputy campaign manager, is up next. still to come, sigourney weaver on "political animals." this is "andrea mitchell reports." you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye-care experts at bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients.
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the campaign is facing new
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questions today about the president's own record on outsourcing. we just heard governor sununu. according to the "washington post" democratic critics say the president has not done enough to fulfill his own campaign promise from four years ago to stem the flow of jobs shifting to low wage countries overseas. here's mitt romney today. >> if there's an outsourcer in chief it's the president of the united states, not the guy running to replace him. >> that was romney channeling some democrats on the left who are criticizing the president. joining me, stephanie cutter, obama's -- president obama's deputy campaign manager. what's the campaign's response to these questions about outsourcing that the romney camp has been laying out today? >> well, first, andrea, thanks for having me on. >> thank you for being here. >> in response to governor romney's comment about the president being the outsourcer in chief, it's slightly laughable and here's why. first of all, the record doesn't support it. the president has fought to close loopholes that send jobs overseas and has created new incentives to bring jobs back
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and it's working. do we need to do more, yes. we need congress to act to close that loophole. i >> is it enough, stephanie -- excuse me. just on that point, is it good enough for the president four years in to say that congress hasn't acted on his proposals? isn't it for him to lead and show that he can deliver? >> we have delivered. we have doubled enforcement cases against china which protects american jobs and ensures american jobs are being created here. we saw that last week when china was trying to take advantage of our auto industry. the president stood up and said protecting american workers here. we saw that with the tire industry. we have seen it multiple times. the president ran on closing that loophole, he's had a proposal in congress to close that loophole and he's fighting for it now. now, compare that to mitt romney for just one second. putting aside all of his bain investments, where the "washington post" said that he invested in companies that were pioneers in outsourcing.
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look at his proposals now. his own tax policy, his own corporate tax policy encourages investments overseas rather than here in this country. so just look at current policy and the difference in current policy. that's really the stark difference in between where mitt romney wants to take this country and where barack obama wants to take this country. mitt romney wants to encourage outsourcing. barack obama wants to end it. that's the real contrast here. >> one of the points that governor sununu was just making is that the obama campaign advertisement has been widely panned by politifact, the "washington post," other fact checkers. what's your response to the fact this is one of your own campaign ads. this is not from a super pac or anyone else on your behalf. >> well, we stand by these campaign ads. they are based off the "washington post" story. the "washington post" stands by their story. in fact, the romney campaign went in there with full force trying to get them to retract it and they refused to. here's what the romney campaign has a problem with, that they say mitt romney left bain
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capital in 1999. that's actually not true. he remained as president and ceo and sole owner of bain capital until 2001. so many of these cases happened after 1999 but there were multiple examples of bain investing in companies that sent jobs overseas before 1999. so we'll take it either way. but we stand by these ads. mitt romney made millions of dollars in personal profits by investing in companies that sent jobs overseas. that's fact. >> getting to the tax issue, what about the fact that it's undisputed that senator mccaskill, bill nelson and other endangered democratic senators are not supporting the president's own tax proposal, neither is chuck schumer. >> well, i'm not sure that is actually the case. but you're talking about the tax proposal yesterday that congress should act -- >> exactly. >> -- on protecting 98% of americans from a tax increase? president just met with a family in iowa who would face a $2200
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tax increase if congress didn't act. the point of yesterday is just quite simply this. that if we know everybody agrees that this tax cut for middle class families should be extended, but we still want to have a debate for the remaining 2% of americans, then why can't we just move forward and protect the 98% of americans and give them some certainty over their family budgets rather than having a political debate and holding them hostage for the remaining 2% of the american people. that's what yesterday is about. let's show the american people we can get something done. this is where everybody agrees. why can't congress move forward on it. >> wasn't yesterday all about politics? wasn't it posturing by both sides since nothing is going to be passed by this congress right now? >> well, andrea, this has been his position, the president's position, for some time. that he wanted to extend the middle class tax cuts. 98% of the american people, and let the bush tax cuts for the upper income expire. we have to do these things if we want to protect the middle class, grow our economy, and pay
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down our deficit. that's been our position for quite some time. in the president's deficit reduction plan, $4 trillion plan, he said the same thing, that we have to let these upper end tax cuts expire if we want to pay down the deficit. so yesterday wasn't about politics. i guess it does present a political problem for those that are protecting the 2%, because they don't want to decouple the middle class tax cuts from the upper income tax cuts because then they're exposed. then they have to be fighting for tax cuts for the wealthy and they don't want to be put in that position. >> i want to give you a chance also to respond to what governor sununu had to say from the romney camp about the fact that contrary to what the joint committee on taxation says, that only 3% of small business owners would be affected by the president's -- by the tax -- the bush tax cut expiring on people over $250,000 a year. he says that that is most of the job creation, that that 3% of
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small businessmen, business members, are really the people who create all of the jobs. are you hurting the economy with this tax increase? >> well, i would make a couple of points. that even under the broadest definition of small business, when you include law firms and hedge funds and things like that, you are really only talking about 3% of small businesses in this country that would be impacted by not continuing the upper income tax cuts under the bush plan. now, what that means is we would be returning those 3% of businesses back to the clinton rates and as i understand it, these businesses did quite well under clinton. and when they stopped doing well, when we had the slowest job growth, since world war ii, it was during the bush administration when those jobs, when those tax cuts were enacted. so i don't think this is going to impede any job creation. it's really only 3% of small businesses out there. everybody else, 97% of small businesses continue getting the tax cuts they have and on top of that, the 17 tax cuts that the president has already enacted on their behalf.
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>> stephanie cutter from chicago, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thanks for being with us. next up, inside syria. richard engel just back from a week in syria. his exclusive reporting on how the game is changing on the ground. ovider is different but centurylink is committed to being a different kind of communications company by continuing to help you do more and focus on the things that matter to you.
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did you know honey nut cheerios is america's favorite cereal? oh, you're good! hey, did you know that honey nut cheerios is... oh you too! ooh, hey america's favorite cereal is... honey nut cheerios ok then off to iceland! as international pressure and a better organized opposition helping reach a tipping point for syrian leader bashar al assad? foreign correspondent, chief foreign correspondent richard engel spent last week traveling inside syria and found a dramatic change from only a month ago. >> reporter: rebel s in syria nw travel openly on the main highways carrying weapons. it was not like this just a month ago. now the rebels have safe havens, mostly the rural countryside. >> the army does not dare come out. if they do, our snipers would get them. >> reporter: the rebel leader takes us to maurora, one of dozens of villages in northwest
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syria, where residents are now celebrating after government troops were driven out. things are changing rapidly in syria, where the opposition is taking village after village. every time they do, they throw a party just like this one. there is the sense that the rebels have momentum. they are capturing territory with almost nothing to oppose them. this rebel cooks up a batch of explosives. before the war, ahmed ran a restaurant. >> we wanted the uprising to be peaceful but the government troops started killing us so we had no choice. >> reporter: ahmed's inexperience at bomb making shows, after simmering for two hours, the mixture of fertilizer and sugar is just too hot. back up, he shouts, as it all goes up in flames. >> it's completely burnt. useless. >> reporter: ahmed will have to make more explosives to pack into these water tanks with
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steel re-bar added for shrapnel. this is a ragtag revolution. the bomb's detonators are battery-powered and the batteries have to be replaced every five days. but as rebel videos show, the bombs do seem to work. >> richard now joins me live in our new york studio, safely back from syria. i know you will be reporting on rock center on thursday night. tell me what was the most important thing that you saw that was really different from your reporting, the rebels are coming together? >> they are much more organized than they had been in the past. they share a common goal which is to drive out bashar al assad's regime and they have a safe haven which is something they didn't have before. you can't organize, you can't run a revolution if you don't have a place to operate from. in libya, the rebels had benghazi and then other areas in
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misrata and the western mountains. without territory, they couldn't have an effective fight against gadhafi. without having territory which they do now have in syria, the rebels couldn't effectively fight against bashar al assad. this is a game-changing moment. >> because they have this territory and they don't have the cities, does this mean that we are getting closer to the tipping point but assad can hold on for awhile? what is your assessment from having been there? >> assad could hold on for awhile, because the rebels as you saw in that clip don't have serious weapons. they don't have armor-piercing weapons. they have some rpgs but the rebel unit we were with, for example, 635 men, 150 guns and about ten rpgs and those rpgs, rocket propelled grenades, weren't armor-piercing. so they can't really drive out too often, anyway, assad's forces. so this could go on for a long time, unless the rebels get more
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significant weapons and now that they have territory and now that they're getting better organized, it's almost like they've built a pot and it wouldn't take much more to fill it and for them to become in a position where they are much stronger than they have been in the past. >> exclusive and fascinating insight. richard engel, thanks so much. we look forward to all your reporting on syria. thanks so much. no, it's not a summer rerun. republicans are pressing ahead with plans to repeal the president's health care law, again. will they get more democrats to join them this time around? plus, sigourney weaver's new series, coming up. [ male announcer ] research suggests the health of our cells plays a key role
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won't get past the senate. the debate is under way in the house and new york congressman steve israel is chair of the democratic congressional campaign committee and joins me now. congressman, thanks so much. does this create a problem for you not only on the house side but potentially on the senate side with other votes that are taking place on taxes, for instance, or positions that are being taken by members running in close districts who do not want to support the president? >> no, this doesn't create a problem at all. look, i have been pretty outspoken in telling our candidates and our incumbents that they need to reflect the values and priorities of the districts that they represent. in this case, the priorities and values of the republican party, house republicans are all wrong and undermine the middle class. it is their priority to repeal health care and undermine patient protections for the middle class. it is our priority not to move backwards and repeal health care and hurt the middle class but to move forward and vote on comprehensive legislation to create jobs for the middle class. it is the republicans'
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priorities to take away patient protections, tell women that if they have breast cancer, it is once again a pre-existing condition, tell children that they are now kicked out of their health insurance -- their parents' health insurance plans, tell middle class consumers that once again, there are things like lifetime caps and tell seniors that they are going to have to pay more for prescription drug care. those are republican priorities. they are wrong. democrats should run against those wrong priorities and instead talk about our solutions to rebuild the middle class and that's what this election is going to be about. >> how many democrats do you think you will lose in this vote tomorrow? >> you know, i can't give you a whip count or head count. right now we're focusing on holding republicans accountable for their wrong priorities. i'll say it again. we want to move forward to create jobs for the middle class. republicans want to go backwards and repeal health care and undermine patient protections for the middle class. we are going to hold republicans accountable very aggressively for their wrong priorities and my advice to democrats is to
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talk consistently, coherently and strongly and aggressively about how these republicans are putting insurance company profits ahead of middle class stability. >> what do you say to congressman from north carolina, larry kissel who said i have heard from hundreds and hundreds of people from my district about their opposition to the health care law, i voted against it originally and i will vote to repeal it? have you talked to him? >> every member of congress when they raise their right hand and take their oath to the constitution makes a commitment to reflect the priorities and values of the districts that they represent. i happen to disagree with the congressman on this. my advice to democrats has been to continue to focus on the wrong priorities of republicans and what they are repealing. they are repealing important patient protections. they are repealing the ability of a woman to get health insurance if she has breast cancer. they are repealing the right of children to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until they are 26. they are repealing the elimination of the doughnut hole
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and trying to cost senior citizens more money. these are important, very important things that we should be running on and my view is that the republicans, they themselves are very fearful right now. i'm hearing that there's a lot of second guessing and a lot of jittery republicans who don't want to repeal these important patient protections and are questioning their own leadership about this vote. we'll see where they are at the end of the day tomorrow. >> okay. congressman steve israel, thank you very much. right now, breaking news, live pictures from newark international airport. currently under a ground stop because of smoke reported from an elevator shaft leading to the evacuation of the air traffic control tower. nbc's tom costello covers aviation for nbc and joins us now. tom, what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, exactly that. this is likely going to lead to a bit of a mess today in the new york city air space. as you know, newark is a linchpin, one of three airports that services new york city along with laguardia and jfk. the faa telling us there is a ground stop in place because
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controllers had to evacuate their positions because of smoke coming from an elevator shaft. they have relocated to another position there at the airport. they are working to reestablish control over the ground and over the air space, but at this very moment, we're told a ground stop in effect at newark airport as they work to try to figure out first of all, the source of the smoke and second of all, to get everything under control. at this point, no indication of any flights or anyone in danger, but rather, smoke in the tower at newark and they are working to resolve it as fast as they can. back to you. >> thanks so much, tom costello. for all those yearning for a woman candidate, our friends at usa network have just the answer, a new mini series about a former first lady who runs for president, loses but becomes a popular secretary of state. starring in the series about a strong woman with a difficult marital history is sigourney weaver, making her debut on "political animals" this sunday night. >> after 32 years of marriage, you were compelled to ask for a
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divorce the night you conceded the nomination. >> it's not news that journalists have accused me of divorcing my husband for political gain. it's just they don't usually work for the nation's leading paper. >> when he was president, you stayed. you left when you lost your shot at the presidency. it's a fair assumption politics had something to do with it. >> you won a pulitzer in your 20s for covering his affairs, did you not? >> i did. >> i'm curious, what is it like launching your career by stepping on the throat of someone else's marriage? >> his adultery was a story. i covered it. >> no pulitzers to speak of since, though. >> no. >> sound familiar? the star of the new summer series, "political animals," sigourney weaver. great pleasure to see you. thanks for joining us. tell me, why did you want to do the series? what is it about this role and about doing a television series that was appealing to you? >> well, i think actually what you said just before i came on was a big part of it, that we need more women in washington
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and elaine barrish hammond is an example of a woman who is a passionate advocate for people, for the real concerns of people. she's direct, she's confident, she's unencumbered by a lot of the connections. you know, she's just very down-to-earth and i think very effective and i think women represent that kind of approach to politics. we're used to rolling up our sleeves and getting things done. and there's a little less game playing. i think that was part of the appeal was to try to portray that kind of feminine leadership in washington and also i think the chance to tell a story in the long cable form so you go back and forth between the halls of power in d.c. and the living rooms of these very interesting people.
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>> of course, there are some who would say obvious parallels to the hillary and bill story. how do you get past that? you've created elaine barrish, a complete figure, and are there similarities, do you draw from the clinton saga or is that just a starting off point? >> well, i think it's the jumping-off point and for the creator of this series, i think he was inspired not only by the clintons but by all the families who have spent time in the white house. i think his vision is that families who spend time in the white house, it exacts a price from them. it's a big pressure on a family. it may cause some dysfunction in the family and it also eerily makes them want to get back in the white house as soon as possible. so you see the whole technicolor spectrum of behavior in them. >> when you look at roles and you are so associated with movies, some of our favorite movies, now we see you in a tv
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mini series, what is the appeal of long form cable now? >> i think you're telling a different kind of story. there's much more time for the life scenes, the scenes between family members. in a movie it's kind of i think much more the director's vision and sort of a straight shot, whereas i think some of the best writers are now working in television. some of the best actors. and you just tell a story that's a lot more elastic, that's a lot more open-ended and it's been a really interesting challenge for me to play this amazing politician but she's also a mother and a daughter and an ex-wife and all of those other -- >> layers and layers. >> yeah, exactly. >> of course it's not the first time you played a first lady. at least i recall "dave," one of our favorite movies where you were the appealing first lady and kevin kline, what could be
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better than that. what about the cast in this? you have great actors working with you. >> it's such an amazing cast. kieran hines plays my ex-husband. ellen burstyn plays my mother. we have great catfights in the kitchen, my mother and i. and two lovely actors play my sons. then you know, last but certainly not least, carla guggieno plays my nemesis you just saw on the clip. she's the other female lead, a very brilliant newswoman who did build her career on zapping my marriage and my ex-husband. but we become these sort of wary allies and then maybe even friends, and it's a really interesting relationship that i don't think i have ever seen
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frankly in a film or in anything else. she's just wonderful. >> it sounds so complex. full disclosure, i had a teeny, teeny, brief cameo appearance. >> a very important one. >> very, very small. >> political animals starring aund y andrea mitchell. >> elaine barrish hammond, just minutes from addressing the packed ballroom at the radcliffe hotel in chicago. there's not much you can say about the governor that hasn't already been said. she's been called everything from a feminist liberal icon to an opportunistic closet conservative, cold and ambitious to warm, charming and unfairly maligned. >> wow. >> well done. >> what fun. by the way, i don't know if you knew this, but i had met your father in santa barbara. pat weaver created the "today"
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show so this is not your first trip to 30 rock. pat weaver was one of the great innovators at nbc in the early days of television and in his retirement years during the reagan white house, we went and visited and had a wonderful time with him. he was one of the really great men. >> thank you so much. they remembered that visit so fondly. they had a wonderful time. >> well, a great man and a great tradition and sigourney weaver, such a pleasure, such a treat. we really look forward to seeing "political animals" on usa network. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. such a pleasure. back to developing news. live pictures from kirkwood community college in cedar rapids, iowa, where we expect president obama to speak at any minute now.
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castle. the torch is winding its way 8,000 miles across england ahead of the summer olympics. organizers say the flame should come within ten miles of 95% of the country's population. president obama will be speaking in just a few moments at a campaign event in cedar rapids, iowa, continuing his pitch for an extension of the bush tax cuts for the middle class. not coincidentally, iowa is a major battleground state. joining me is politico's also a battleground state. lois, first to you, back to iowa where it all began and focusing on the tax cuts, the argument from the obama team is that even those small business owners who would have to pay the tax cuts say that this would not kill jobs. that's their claim against the republican onslaught on this. >> andrea, first of all, thanks for having me. i think the first thing you have to look at is why obama is in iowa. this is the state, remember,
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that launched him. he thought it was going to be a safe state. he won it in 2008. the fact he's making the speech there at all tells us they're very worried about iowa. what they're doing on these tax cuts, they're recognize that the polls right now favor romney on the economy. what they're trying to do is take the fight to him and tell the american people, okay, sure, maybe you all think he's a businessman and he would do better with the economy. this guy is only going to help the rich. he's not going to help the middle class. what we're telling you is we'll extend these cuts for people who make under a certain amount of money, $250,000, because we care about the middle class and all he cares about is helping his rich friends. i think that's basically the argument you're going to hear today. >> jonathan capehart, according to "the washington post," it's 47-47, a dead heat. mitt romney and president obama both in the battlegrounds.
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>> we always knew all along that despite the craziness of the republican primary contest that once the republican party settled on a nominee, the poll numbers between the president and fill-in-the-blank republican would close. right now, as you said, we're tied 47-47. the president taking the fight to congress and taking the fight to the republicans overextension of the push tax cuts for the middle class, it's -- jumping on what lois said, the interesting thing here is the president is running -- basically running on his record of the last four years. the president is talking about a very specific -- a very specific policy. the problem with mitt romney that even people within his own party say is he hasn't gotten specific about what exactly he would do as president to help the nation's economy. what the president is doing is i think pushing mitt romney into a corner to get specific about what he's going to do to help the middle class. >> jonathan, what about this whole debate over outsourcing?
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the white house thought they had the better of it, criticized for their own advertisements. today what you see is a "washington post" story that the romney campaign has seized upon to push back and push back hard. >> well, this again is part of the classic -- i believe it was karl rove who came up with this strategy of whatever your weakness is, go after it in the other person. outsourcing was a problem for mitt romney and his campaign. they were on the ropes on this. so they're turning the tables on president obama. so we're going to see this back and forth between the two campaigns from now until election day. >> in fact, the rnc website now has up a lot of the claims that governor sue nun knew was making earlier in the show to me, the obama camp pushing back and saying a lot of those programs don't apply to overseas companies. according to the treasury they
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didn't even qualify for these programs. we'll have to see and dig a lot deeper into that in the coming hours. jonathan? >> i wasn't sure if you were going to a break or if it was a question for me. sorry about that. >> sorry. >> yes, you raised very good points there. the other thing is the republicans, what they've done is -- they're starting to try to change the conversation from what it was yesterday and still a little bit today, and that is governor romney and this sort of off-shoring of his wealth and the lack of transparency in terms of his tax returns. yesterday we were all talking about the fact that mitt romney has so far refused to release more than two years of his tax returns, that his own father when he ran for president in the '60s released 12 years in an unprecedented action, which set the bar for where we are now. george romney released 12 years
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of his actual tax returns to show people that the money he made was not some fluke as i believe he said at the time. so what the republicans and what romney is trying to do is switch the conversation from romney's problems with his wealth and where it sits all over the world and the lack of his releasing his tax returns to president obama and his problems such as they see them with what they call outsourcing of jobs from the u.s. >> right now what we see is the introducer about to introduce the president in iowa, in cedar rapids, iowa. lois romano, you made the point the president is back in iowa and fighting hard for the states that many people thought would have been more easily in his back pocket. >> i think what we're seeing is that this race is going to go down to the wire. if you recall just a couple weeks ago when he proposed his
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loosening of immigration laws, polls taken right after that show that he had jumped a little bit. and he was leading in the battleground states. just for the record, these campaigns don't really care about what the national polls show. all they care about is what the head-to-heads in these dozen states are showing. obama was getting a little bit of a lift there. i think since then it's tightened a little bit. it's going to be tightened all the way through november unless something happens. >> andrea? >> go ahead, jonathan. >> andrea, to jump on lois's point, in our poll today it shows that nine out of ten people surveyed have already made up their mind about who they're going to vote for in november. what you will see between now -- actually this has been going on for a long time now, the campaigns zeroing in on those so-called persuadable voters, the independent voters, the folks who haven't quite made up their minds. as lois said, we're talking
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about a narrow sliver of the electorate. we know they're in iowa because the president is there. we know they're in california because mitt romney is there, not just because there's a lot of money there. president obama has been to colorado several times. president obama will be going back to virginia several times during this campaign. he won it in 2008 and was the first democrat to win that state in a very long time. so you will have both campaigns parachuting in to what might see like unlikely places to pick up one, two, three votes that they hope they can pure suede to click the lever for them in november. >> jonathan capehart, lois romano, thank you very much. we'll go to cedar rapids and the introduction for the president who is about to speak there. >> president obama knows that education and health care aren't luxuries, they're xik imperatives for our country. he knows we're all better off when everyone pays their fair share and we pay down our
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deficit responsibly. that's the heart of the vision for his economy and our country. built from the middle out and not from the top down. it's the heart of the choice we have this november. you know, four years ago, alley and i were proud to caucus with our neighbors for then senator obama. she was five months pregnant at the time with cooper, so she was eating and caucusing for two that night. four years later, alley and i are expecting another son in september. we couldn't be more proud to stand by our president once again. [ cheers and applause ] he has had our backs and we have his. so let's all stand up and show the world that what started in iowa four years ago continues today. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the president of the united states, barack obama. [ cheers and applause ]
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♪ >> hello cedar rapids! it is good to be back. in cedar rapids. all right. a couple people i want to
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acknowledge. first of all, please give jason and his wife alley a big round of applause. they are just wonderful people. i'm so glad i had a chance to meet them. they're debating what to name their son. if you guys have some suggestions. i asked them what about barack? that was not yet on the list. but they are wonderful people and they've got incredibly cute guy named cooper. so i really thank them for their hospitality. we appreciate them so much. jason is starting as a high school principal, so wish him good luck. he's going to do a great job. i want to acknowledge mic
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starvorich -- starsovich. i call him mik. he is the president of kirkwood and our host today. thank you so much. [ applause ] i want to acknowledge our out standing emcee peggy whitford, great friend of mine. and one of my dearest friends here in iowa, your outstanding attorney general tom miller is in the house. if you guys have a seat, feel free to take a seat. that way if it gets a little warm, i don't want anybody getting overheated. you guys are kind of out of luck. make sure you're hydrated. and abraham lin

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